Council meetings

Agenda item

Council Budget 2019-20


The Budget proposals were introduced by the Mayor who concluded that this

was not the budget he would have liked to have offered but was the least

harmful cuts option and came as the result of unprecedented levels of

participation. He predicted that subsequent years would be faced with more

difficult decisions and that the Government’s so called ‘Fair Funding Review’

gave little grounds for optimism. He paid particular thanks to Councillor De

Ryk for her help throughout the process.


The Mayor confirmed that he was proposing a Council Tax rise of 4.99% and

proposed to use Council reserves for the fifth consecutive year in order to

ensure a balanced budget was achieved.


The Mayor confirmed that he did not intend to vary the budget proposals he

had already fully set out at Mayor and Cabinet on February 6 and 13 and

which did not require further amendment.


A motion that the proposals be accepted was moved by the job share Cabinet

Member for Resources, Councillor Amanda De Ryk and seconded by the

Chair of the Public Accounts Select Committee, Councillor Jim Mallory.

During the debate on the budget the 5 minute limit on speeches for the Mayor

and Councillors De Ryk and Mallory was suspended.


Once the debate was concluded, there was, in accordance with statutory

provisions, a recorded vote on the Mayor’s proposed Budget. The result of the

vote was as follows:


51 Votes In favour of the Mayor’s Budget Proposals


Councillor Obajimi Adefiranye

Councillor Tauseef Anwar

Councillor Abdeslam Amrani

Councillor Chris Barnham

Councillor Paul Bell

Councillor Peter Bernhards

Councillor Chris Best

Councillor Kevin Bonavia

Councillor Andre Bourne

Councillor Bill Brown

Councillor Juliet Campbell

Councillor Suzannah Clarke

Councillor Patrick Codd

Councillor Tom Copley

Councillor Liam Curran

Councillor Janet Daby

Councillor Brenda Dacres

Councillor Amanda De Ryk

Councillor Joe Dromey

Mayor Damien Egan

Councillor Colin Elliott

Councillor Aisling Gallagher

Councillor Leo Gibbons

Councillor Alan Hall

Councillor Carl Handley

Councillor Octavia Holland

Councillor Sue Hordijenko

Councillor Coral Howard

Councillor Mark Ingleby

Councillor Liz Johnston-Franklin

Councillor Caroline Kalu

Councillor Silvana Kelleher

Councillor Louise Krupski

Councillor Jim Mallory

Councillor Joan Millbank

Councillor Hilary Moore

Councillor Pauline Morrison

Councillor John Muldoon

Councillor Olurotimi Ogunbadewa

Councillor Jacq Paschoud

Councillor John Paschoud

Councillor Stephen Penfold

Councillor James Rathbone

Councillor Joani Reid

Councillor Sakina Sheikh

Councillor Jonathan Slater

Councillor Alan Smith

Councillor Luke Sorba

Councillor Eva Stamirowski

Councillor James-J Walsh

Councillor Susan Wise


Votes Against the Mayor’s Budget Proposals nil


Abstentions nil




(1) the recommendations shown below be agreed in respect of the 2019/20

Budget having considered the views of those consulted on the budget, and

subject to consideration of the outcome of consultation with business

ratepayers and subject to proper process, as required,


Capital Programme


(2) the 2018/19 Quarter 3 Capital Programme monitoring position and the

Capital Programme potential future schemes and resources as set out in

section 5 be noted;


(3) the 2019/20 to 2021/22 Capital Programme of £344.7m, as set out in

section 5 and attached at Appendices W1 and W2 be approved;



Housing Revenue Account


(4) the consultation report on service charges to tenants’ and leaseholders in

the Brockley area, presented to area panel members on 27 November 2018,

as attached at Appendix X2 be noted;


(5) the consultation report on service charges to tenants’ and leaseholders

and the Lewisham Homes budget strategy presented to area panel members

on 13 December 2018 as attached at Appendix X3 be noted;


(6) a decrease be set in dwelling rents of 1.0% (an average of £0.96 per

week) – as per the requirements from government as presented in section 6;


(7) a decrease be set in the hostels accommodation charge by 1.0% (or £0.36

per week), in accordance with Government requirements;


(8) the Mayor’s approval of the following average weekly increases/decreases

for dwellings be endorsed for:


(9) service charges to non-Lewisham Homes managed dwellings (Brockley);

           caretaking                 4.30% (£0.22)

           grounds                     4.30% (£0.09)

           communal lighting   4.30% (£0.07)

           bulk waste collection 4.30% (£0.06)

           window cleaning     4.30% (£0.01)

           tenants’ levy             15.0% (£0.02)


(10)     service charges to Lewisham Homes managed dwellings:

           caretaking                 3.27%  (£0.19)

           grounds                     3.63% (£0.07)

           window cleaning     11.11% (£0.01)

           communal lighting   0.88% (£0.01)

           block pest control     1.84% (£0.03)

           waste collection       8.33% (£0.04)

           heating & hot water1.31% (£0.13)

           tenants’ levy             15.38% (£0.02)

           bulk waste disposal3.70% (£0.03)

           sheltered housing   1.00% (£0.24)


(11)     the Mayor’s approval of the following average weekly percentage

changes be endorsed for hostels and shared temporary units for;

           service charges (hostels) – caretaking etc.; no change

           energy cost increases for heat, light & power; no change

           water charges increase; no change


(12) the Mayor’s approval of an increase in garage rents by 25% (£2.37 per

week) be endorsed for Brockley residents and 25% (£3.06 per week) for

Lewisham Homes residents;


(13) the budgeted expenditure for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for

2019/20 be £169.6m, split £99.9m revenue and £69.7m capital, which

includes the decent homes and new build programmes;


(14) the HRA budget strategy cut proposalsbe approved in order to achieve a

balanced budget in 2019/20, as attached at Appendix X1;


Dedicated Schools Grant and Pupil Premium


(15) subject to final confirmation of the allocation, the provisional Dedicated

Schools Grant allocation of £290.880m be the Schools’ Budget for 2019/20;


(16) the funding in respect of each of the blocks continue to be based on the

National Funding Formula. A “soft formula” remains in place for the Schools

Block, however Lewisham Council has agreed to mirror the principles of the

National Funding Formula to distribute the Schools Budget Share; 


(17) Minimum Funding Guarantee for the schools block be set at a plus 0.20%

for 2019/20 as supported by Schools Forum;


(18) the continuing pressures facing the High Needs Block be noted and

endorse and the transfer of £1m be endorsed from the Schools Block to the

High Needs Block as agreed with Schools Forum;


(19) an overall increase in the High Needs Block of £2m be noted of which

£0.7m relates to the Secretary of States recent statement providing £300m to

Local Authorities to support pressure in the High Needs Block, with the

remaining increase arising from factors determining the High Needs Block

methodology, and adding £1m on top of this funding;


(20) despite the increase in High Needs Funding, there continues to remain

upward pressure on costs, arising from a combination of increase in pupils

with specialist need, more complex need, and associated costs;


(21) the Early Years Block position be provisional pending January 2019 and

2020 pupil counts; and to note that the supplementary funding for Nursery

Schools (determined within the Early Years Block) will continue for 2019/20

and the provisional allocation suggests a minor increase of £7k;


(22) a small increase of £15k to the Central Services to Schools Block

Component of the Dedicated Schools Grant be noted;   


(23) the Pupil Premium Funding rates for 2019/20 will remain at current levels

thereby resulting in a real term reduction in spending and to note that the

funding levels have not increased since 2017/18;


(24) the 2019/20 pupil premium allocation will be confirmed pending the

January 2019 census; and to note for information that 2018/19 pupil premium

was £16.4m. The 2019/20 figure could potentially be lower as a result of

reduction in overall pupil numbers coupled with overall reduction in Free

School Meal Eligibility numbers;  


(25) the latest financial position in schools and the likely future cost pressures

on schools be noted;


General Fund Revenue Budget


(26) the projected overall variance against the agreed 2018/19 revenue

budget of £241.281m as set out in section 8 be noted and that any year-end

overspend will have to be met from reserves;


(27) the budget cut proposals of £7.963m be endorsed as per the Mayor and

Cabinet meeting of the 21 November 2018, as set out in section 8 of the

report and summarised in Appendix Y1;


(28) in relation to budget cut proposals – Commercial Income (RES16) £140k,

Main Grants (COM12) £600k, Local Assemblies Funding (COM14) £225k,

and Small Grants (COM17) £50k - the proposed budget cuts totalling

£1.015m in 2019/20 be endorsed, as set out in section 8 and summarised in

Appendix Y2;


(29) budget cut proposals Park Events Income (CUS03) and Removal of

Public Toilets (CUS08) totalling £0.292m in 2019/20 have yet to be re-

presented to Mayor and Cabinet for approval but are assumed as part of the

budget calculation for 2019/20, with any gap covered from once-off resources

until formerly concluded; 


(30) the transfer of £5.0m in 2019/20 be approved from the New Homes

Bonus reserve to the General Fund for one year to meet funding shortfalls

and that the position be reviewed again for 2020/21;


(31) the use of £2.461m reserves be approved to meet the budget gap in



(32) the allocation of £6.500m in 2019/20 be set aside for corporate risks and



(33) the allocation of the full £6.500m set aside for corporate risks and

pressures in 2019/20 be made to fund quantified budget pressures;


(34) a General Fund Budget Requirement of £243.012m be approved for



(35) a 4.99% increase in Lewisham’s Council Tax element be approved

resulting in a Band D equivalent Council Tax level of £1,263.94 for

Lewisham’s services and £1,584.45 overall and representing an overall

increase in Council Tax for 2019/20 of 5.76% subject to the GLA precept for

2019/20 being increased by £26.28 (i.e. 8.9%) from £294.23 to £320.51, in

line with the GLA’s budget proposal;


(36) the Council Tax Ready Reckoner be noted which for illustrative purposes

sets out the Band D equivalent Council Tax at various levels of increase as

explained in section 8 and set out in more detail in Appendix Y3;


(37) the Interim Chief Finance Officer issues cash limits to all Directorates

once the 2019/20 Revenue Budget is agreed;


(38) the Interim Chief Finance Officer’s Section 25 Statement be approved as

attached at Appendix Y4;


(39)     the statutory calculations for 2019/20 be approved as set out at

Appendix Y5;


(40) there were seven responses from Business Rate payers to the

consultation on the draft Budget which took place from 14 January 2019 to 1

February 2019, detailed as received in Appendix Y6;


(41) the confirmation from the Lewisham and Greenwich Trust to manage the

Health Visiting service at current levels within the available Public Health

grant allocated to this service in 2019/20 be noted;


(42) the prospects for the revenue budget for 2020/21 and future years as set

out in section 9 be noted;


(43) officers have been asked to continue to develop firm proposals and bring

them forward for working towards a cuts round before the summer recess to

help plan early and meet the future forecast budget shortfalls;


            Other Grants (within the General Fund)


(44)     the adjustments to and impact of various specific grants for 2019/20 on

the General Fund as set out in section 8 be noted;


            Treasury Management Strategy


(45) the prudential indicators and treasury indicators, as set out in section 10

be approved;


(46) the Annual Investment Strategy and Credit Worthiness Policy, set out in

further detail at Appendix Z2 be approved;


(47) the Capital Strategy 2019/20, set out in further detail at Appendix Z5 be



(48) the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) policy as set out in section 10 be



(49) delegated authority be made to the Executive Director for Resources &

Regeneration during 2019/20 to make amendments to borrowing and

investment limits provided they are consistent with the strategy and there is

no change to the Council’s authorised limit for borrowing;


(50) approval be given for the credit and counterparty risk management

criteria, as set out at Appendix Z2, the proposed countries for investment at

Appendix Z3, and delegated responsibility for managing transactions with

those institutions which meet the criteria be given to the Executive Director for

Resources & Regeneration; and


(51) a minimum sovereign rating of AA- be approved;


Supporting documents: